This document provides answers to frequently asked questions related to Public Comment at CPS Energy Board of Trustees’ meetings.
WHAT IS PUBLIC COMMENT?
Public Comment is a period of time that is dedicated during Board meetings for members of the public to address the CPS Energy Board of Trustees about posted agenda items for that meeting.
WHAT TOPICS CAN I TALK ABOUT?
You can speak on specific agenda items posted for the current Board meeting.
WHAT IF I WANT TO TALK ABOUT OTHER ITEMS?
Written comments may be provided to staff members who will provide them to the Board of Trustees. Additionally, there are several other communication channels:
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone at 210-353-2222
- U.S. Postal Service to P.O. BOX 1771 San Antonio, TX 78296
WHERE IS PUBLIC COMMENT?
To protect the health of the public and limit the potential spread of COVID-19, the CPS Energy Board of Trustees will hold their meetings via telephone conference. These meeting standards are based upon the provisions of the Open Meetings Act, as modified by the Governor of Texas in response to the COVID-19 crisis. These modified standards shall remain in place until further notice or until the state disaster declaration expires or is otherwise terminated by the Texas Governor. There will be no in-person public access.
Despite this change in meeting format, you can still participate in the Public Comment portion of the meeting via phone. Pre-registration is required.
HOW DO I REGISTER TO SPEAK?
Interested speakers are required to pre-register on the day of the Board meeting. Pre-registration will be via phone at (210) 353-4662. Registration will be open for one hour. Registration will start three hours prior to the board meeting. For example, registration is open from 10:00 am CST to 11:00am CST on days when the Board meeting begins at 1pm. Speakers will speak in the order that they register.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL I HAVE TO SPEAK?
- All individuals and groups must be successfully registered before being recognized and provided their designated time to speak.
- Individuals will receive a time allotment of two (2) minutes each.
- Individuals needing translation services will be given four (4) minutes to allow time for the translation of their comments. Additional guidance is provided below for speakers who wish for their comments to be accepted in a language other than English and who desire translation.
- Groups (comprised of three or more individuals) will receive six (6) minutes to speak.
- At least three (3) persons must register on behalf of a group in order for the group to be allotted six (6) minutes to speak.
- The group must collaborate and choose one person to speak on its behalf.
- Persons registering on behalf of an organization or group may not be permitted additional two (2) minutes to speak if the organization or group has already been allocated six (6) minutes to address the Board.
- The Board Chair or Presiding Trustee has the discretion to reduce time allotments.
I’VE REGISTERED TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF AN ORGANIZATION. MAY I GET THE TIME ALLOTMENT FOR A GROUP?
- No, not if you are by yourself. A minimum of three (3) individuals must be registered and present to speak as a group in order to be recognized as a group or organization.
- The group must collaborate and choose one speaker to speak on behalf of the group.
I CAN’T MAKE IT IN TIME TO SPEAK AT THE MEETING. CAN SOMEONE ELSE SPEAK FOR ME?
Someone can read prepared comments on your behalf, but they must register to speak under their own name.
MAY I ASK THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES QUESTIONS DURING MY TIME SLOT?
The Board of Trustees will not comment, either positively or negatively, in response to a speaker’s comments. Time is provided to a speaker so input and perspective can be provided without interference.
Further, State law (Texas Government Code Sec. 551.042) prohibits Board members from responding.
I WANT TO SHOW A VIDEO/SLIDESHOW/PICTURES. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
Soft or electronic copies of materials or videos are not permitted.
DO I HAVE TO BE A CPS ENERGY CUSTOMER TO ADDRESS THE BOARD?
You do not have to be a CPS Energy customer to participate in its Public Comment process.
WILL MY PERSONAL INFORMATION BE MADE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE?
Any information provided at registration is public record.
MAY I ADDRESS THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH?
Yes, you may address the Board of Trustees in a language other than English. You may have your own translator who must be added to the translator section of the Speaker Registration Form. As noted above, if you want your comments to be translated during your time allotment, your speaking duration will be doubled.
Mistranslations are never intended but could occur. CPS Energy is not responsible for any errors or omissions in its effort to translate a speaker’s comments.
If translation services are not available due to a lack of appropriate resources that day, you may still provide your legibly written or typed comments and CPS Energy Staff will use reasonable efforts to provide the Board with a written translation within 30 days after the meeting.
WHAT OTHER THINGS SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC COMMENT AT THE BOARD MEETING?
- A speaker's name will be called two (2) times. If there is no response, that person will forfeit his or her opportunity to speak at this meeting, and the next speaker will be called.
- All speakers are asked to introduce themselves (say their full name, organization or group name & title (if any) to the Board when they begin their comments.
- If for any reason a registered speaker is unable to address the Board of Trustees that person may submit his or her comments in writing to CPS Energy’s staff and they will be promptly provided to the Board.
- A person may choose to bypass the entire Public Comment process at their discretion and instead submit written statements via: